A Room with a View

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Lucy Honeychurch Character Analysis

Lucy begins the novel as a young, somewhat naïve British woman abroad in Italy. She is under the care of her older cousin Charlotte, but eager to break out on her own and lead a more independent life. When George kisses her outside of Florence, she herself is shocked, and follows Charlotte’s guidance in promising not to tell anyone about it. Back in England, she becomes engaged to Cecil, and gradually convinces herself that she loves him, denying her real feelings for George. This becomes more difficult, though, when the Emersons move into a villa near her home, and she has to see George again. George kisses her a second time at Windy Corner, and Lucy is furious with him. When she tells him to leave, he delivers an impassioned speech about how Cecil does not respect her or any woman as an equal, and not long after she does end her engagement. However, Lucy still denies her love for George—and plans to run away to Greece to escape her true feelings—until Mr. Emerson convinces her to be honest with herself. Over the course of the novel, Lucy becomes more independent and assertive, and disregards both her own family and social expectations and norms when she finally marries George and elopes with him to Italy.

Lucy Honeychurch Quotes in A Room with a View

The A Room with a View quotes below are all either spoken by Lucy Honeychurch or refer to Lucy Honeychurch. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Room with a View published in 2000.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance, nor expect you to show gratitude. He has the merit—if it is one—of saying exactly what he means. He has rooms he does not value, and he thinks you would value them. He no more thought of putting you under an obligation than he thought of being polite. It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth.

Related Characters: Mr. Beebe (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Charlotte Bartlett, Mr. Emerson
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the Emerson family--George and Mr. Emerson--has offered to do a favor for the far wealthier and more well-to-do group of Lucy and Charlotte. The Emersons overhear Lucy and Charlotte moaning about how their rooms don't have a nice view; they offer to exchange rooms with the two women, an offer that's appalling to both Lucy and Charlotte. Neither woman wants to be in a lower-class man's debt. But as Mr. Beebe, a friendly reverend, explains, the Emersons aren't trying to gain a favor for themselves--they're just trying to be nice.

Lucy and Charlotte are so sheltered and "well-mannered" that they look a gift-horse in the mouth--they wonder why on earth two strangers are offering them anything, and conclude that the strangers must have poor intentions. Beebe has to explain what, from a 21st reader's perspective, seems perfectly clear: the Emersons are just trying to be friendly. Manners and customs act like a veil between Lucy and the Emersons, obscuring the natural goodness of all the characters.

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About old Mr. Emerson—I hardly know. No, he is not tactful; yet, have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time—beautiful?

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker), Mr. Emerson
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy thinks about the offer she's received from the Emerson family. Lucy is too reserved to accept the offer upfront, and yet she's strangely charmed by the fact that the Emersons made it in the first place: she's so used to people who refuse to speak their minds (out of supposed politeness) that she can scarcely believe that the Emersons would voice their intentions so clearly.

The passage could be considered a satire of the severity and strictness of late-Victorian / Edwardian manners, but it's also meant to signal that Lucy stands somewhat apart from her culture. Where others would be irritated by the Emersons' frankness, Lucy now starts to like the Emersons, and recognizes that they're just good people, even if they're not speaking the same "language."

Chapter 2 Quotes

Buon giorno! Take the word of an old woman, Miss Lucy: you will never repent of a little civility to your inferiors. That is the true democracy. Though I am a real Radical as well. There, now you're shocked.

Related Characters: Miss Lavish (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

Tom Wolfe coined the term "radical chic" to define well-to-do people who like to "dabble" in progressive ideas (socialism, anti-colonialism, gender equality, etc.) without ever really committing to them, mostly because they want to distinguish themselves from their stuffier peers. Miss Lavish, based on this passage, could easily qualify as an exemplar of radical chic: she's a wealthy, successful woman, but she likes to brag about being radical to her other wealthy friends. Lavish makes a big show of greeting random people in the street, but we get the sense that she does so not because of her commitment to democracy or humanism, but because she wants to distinguish herself from people like Lucy, whom she's supposed to be guiding through the city. Lavish continues to blab to Lucy as she shows her Florence. (Notice the way that Lavish calls the people she greets "inferior" without so much as a second thought--which isn't exactly "progressive" of her.)

Of course, it contained frescoes by Giotto, in the presence of whose tactile values she was capable of feeling what was proper. But who was to tell her which they were? She walked about disdainfully, unwilling to be enthusiastic over monuments of uncertain authorship or date. There was no one even to tell her which, of all the sepulchral slabs that paved the nave and transepts, was the one that was really beautiful, the one that had been most praised by Mr. Ruskin. Then the pernicious charm of Italy worked on her, and, instead of acquiring information, she began to be happy.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

After a time, Lucy is abandoned by Miss Lavish, and ends up all alone in a church. Lucy has heard that the church is famous for its beautiful Giotto frescos (Giotto was a famous early Renaissance painter), but she's so ignorant of art that she's unable to determine which paintings, exactly, are by Giotto. Lucy is a fish out of water. Her proper English education and excellent manners don't prepare her for her time in Italy, unless she has someone there to tell her which art she is supposed to find the most "beautiful."

And yet Lucy's lack of familiarity with Giotto and art actually help her get more out of the visit. Instead of treating Florence like a specimen, to be analyzed and critiqued, she lets the city wash over her, dazzling her with its mysteries. She doesn't just appreciate the art she's supposed to (because it's famous), but starts to appreciate all the beauty around her. Lucy begins to move away from her strict upbringing and simply be happy.

I think that you are repeating what you have heard older people say. You are pretending to be touchy; but you are not really. Stop being so tiresome, and tell me instead what part of the church you want to see. To take you to it will be a real pleasure.

Related Characters: Mr. Emerson (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy runs into her old "benefactors," the Emersons. The Emersons are looking around the same church that Lucy's exploring, and when a reverend makes a misstatement about Giotto, Mr. Emerson, the elder of the two, calls the reverend out for his error. Lucy, shocked that Emerson could have been so tactless, tells Emerson that he should have been more polite. Emerson fires back that politeness itself is overrated--why not say what's on one's mind?

Emerson's monologue in the passage is a great example of how tact can be overrated. Emerson is clearly a kind, likable person, even if his manners are sometimes lacking (he offers to show Lucy around the church, which is certainly very helpful). Emerson's behavior could be said to stand for Forster's sometimes romanticized view of the lower classes: they lack specific social training, but their overall "spirit" is good.

Chapter 3 Quotes

It so happened that Lucy, who found daily life rather chaotic, entered a more solid world when she opened the piano. She was then no longer either deferential or patronizing; no longer either a rebel or a slave. The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy escapes from the overwhelming nature of day-to-day life by playing the piano. Music is always an important theme in Forster's novels, and the passage is a great example of how music helps Forster's characters escape from reality for a while. Lucy lives in a strict, repressive world, in which her tiniest mannerisms are policed for "properness." When she plays the piano, however, no such restrictions apply: she feels that she can be free and open with herself--she's not obeying anyone, or following anyone's orders, and indeed is able to inhabit an altogether different plane of existence. In one sense, then, the passage is a confirmation of the strictness of Lucy's world--if something as simple as playing music can free her for a moment, then her world must be very repressed indeed. (Note also that the piano is an Italian invention--once again Forster links Italy to freedom from repression.)

All his life he had loved to study maiden ladies; they were his specialty, and his profession had provided him with ample opportunities for the work. Girls like Lucy were charming to look at, but Mr. Beebe was, from rather profound reasons, somewhat chilly in his attitude towards the other sex, and preferred to be interested rather than enthralled.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, Mr. Beebe
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Beebe is a shy, religious man, who takes a great liking to Lucy and her friends. Beebe seems to be very proper in his manners, and yet here, it's suggested that he has no real desire for the opposite sex: he can take an interest in their souls, and he can form friendships with them, but he can't love them. One could argue that Beebe's relative disinterest in women is a manifestation of his condescending priestly attitude, or of a virtuous adherence to his priestly vows. But it's also been suggested that Mr. Beebe, at least in this passage, is something of a self-portrait by Forster himself (who was homosexual).

"Mr. Beebe—old Mr. Emerson, is he nice or not nice? I do so want to know."

Mr. Beebe laughed and suggested that she should settle the question for herself.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker), Mr. Emerson, Mr. Beebe
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy asks Mr. Beebe for his opinion of the Emerson family. Lucy is interested in the Emersons, especially after spending time with them in the churches of Italy. And yet she's not really confident enough in her own opinion to conclude that the Emersons are either "nice or not nice" (additionally, the fact that she divides all of humanity into two vacuous categories, nice and not nice, suggests her emotional immaturity).

Mr. Beebe has already claimed that he doesn't like the Emersons because of their socialist views: Beebe is a more traditional English figure, a friendly reverend who has duties to his congregation--as a result, he distrusts political radicals. But Beebe is also friendly and open-minded to encourage Lucy to figure things out for herself: he wants her to grow into a mature woman, rather than relying on authority figures.

Chapter 4 Quotes

This she might not attempt. It was unladylike. Why? Why were most big things unladylike? Charlotte had once explained to her why. It was not that ladies were inferior to men; it was that they were different. Their mission was to inspire others to achievement rather than to achieve themselves. Indirectly, by means of tact and a spotless name, a lady could accomplish much. But if she rushed into the fray herself she would be first censured, then despised, and finally ignored. Poems had been written to illustrate this point.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, Charlotte Bartlett
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy tries with some difficulty to rebel against the strictness of her environment. She's just sat through a boring conversation, and now she wants to do something fun--she considers riding a tram. But then she checks herself--such an activity would be inappropriate for someone of her social station.

Lucy's thought process in this scene reflects how thoroughly she's been educated in "ladylike" ways (even as Forster presents the restrictions of being "ladylike" in darkly sarcastic terms). She's been trained to think that women should be calm and docile at all times, rather than pursuing their own selfish desires. Lucy's conception of women and femininity reflects the sexism of English society, but it also reflects the strength of English tradition and world-famous English manners.

Chapter 6 Quotes

She did not answer. From her feet the ground sloped sharply into view, and violets ran down in rivulets and streams and cataracts, irrigating the hillside with blue, eddying round the tree stems collecting into pools in the hollows, covering the grass with spots of azure foam. But never again were they in such profusion; this terrace was the well-head, the primal source whence beauty gushed out to water the earth.
Standing at its brink, like a swimmer who prepares, was the good man. But he was not the good man that she had expected, and he was alone.
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, George Emerson
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, we're reminded of the link between spiritual, personal spring and literal, natural spring--it's natural beauty and vitality that inspires George in his "scandalous" action here. George suddenly shows his feelings for Lucy by kissing her, and she seems to kiss him back. Notice that it's George who kisses Lucy, not the other way around: not only is George the man (and therefore, in a late 19th century novel, the one who'd make the move), he's also the lower-class lover, suggesting that he's less restricted by the rigid manners and social norms of the aristocracy. Lucy has been shown to be equally energetic and imaginative, and yet her energy has been repressed for most of her life--and even here, she is shocked and scandalized by George's kiss, refusing to admit her own feelings.

Chapter 9 Quotes

No, Lucy, he stands for all that is bad in country life. In London he would keep his place. He would belong to a brainless club, and his wife would give brainless dinner parties. But down here he acts the little god with his gentility, and his patronage, and his sham aesthetics, and every one—even your mother—is taken in.

Related Characters: Cecil Vyse (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Sir Harry Otway
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Cecil tells Lucy that he finds Sir Harry Otway to be insufferable. Harry, Cecil argues, has horrible taste: he's loud and aggressive, and doesn't know how to tell beauty from ugliness. Cecil also seems to resent that everybody else like Harry, even Lucy's mother, Miss Honeychurch.

The passage is significant because it shows Cecil to be a pretentious and rather hypocritical person. Cecil is an upper-class character, too--he just doesn't have as much land or property as Sir Harry. Cecil is a snobbish aesthete, who looks down on people because they don't have any taste. Cecil's mistake, of course, is to ignore the fact that taste is largely a product of one's class, as well. Cecil would probably look down on most of the working-class families of England, as well as Sir Harry--he'd continue sneering at their bad taste.

On a subtler level, Forster here also critiques the very idea of "taste." As elsewhere in the novel, he contrasts having good taste--that is, knowing what is "supposed" to be beautiful--versus really engaging with beauty on an emotional or spiritual level. Cecil knows how to appreciate art and beauty in theory, but he never really connects with or is moved by it.

"I had got an idea—I dare say wrongly—that you feel more at home with me in a room."
"A room?" she echoed, hopelessly bewildered.
"Yes. Or, at the most, in a garden, or on a road. Never in the real country like this."
"Oh, Cecil, whatever do you mean? I have never felt anything of the sort. You talk as if I was a kind of poetess sort of person."
"I don't know that you aren't. I connect you with a view—a certain type of view. Why shouldn't you connect me with a room?"
She reflected a moment, and then said, laughing:
"Do you know that you're right? I do. I must be a poetess after all. When I think of you it's always as in a room. How funny!"
To her surprise, he seemed annoyed.
"A drawing-room, pray? With no view?"
"Yes, with no view, I fancy. Why not?"
"I'd rather," he said reproachfully, "that connected me with the open air."

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker), Cecil Vyse (speaker)
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Cecil shows that he's a good observer, if not necessarily a good man. He correctly recognizes that Lucy, whom he loves, thinks of him as existing in a closed room without a view. Cecil further deduces that Lucy thinks of him as being in a closed room because they considers him stuffy, unimaginative, and generally repressive.

Cecil's existence stands apart from that of the Emerson family. Cecil is an aesthete, and his arrogant emphasis on style and taste are purely self-referential: he's more interested in his own tastes and styles than he is in the world itself. Other characters in the novel, such as the Emersons, are more open and free in their thinking, reflecting their genuine love and fascination with the world (and thus suggesting they have a "connection with the open air"). Lucy strives to be free and unrepressed, and so she's less attracted to Cecil than Cecil would like.

Chapter 14 Quotes

It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, "She loves young Emerson." A reader in Lucy's place would not find it obvious. Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed?

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, George Emerson, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the narrator addresses a "wrinkle" in the text: why doesn't Lucy accept the obvious truth that she's in love with George Emerson? Can it be possible that Lucy is so divorced from her own feelings that she deludes herself into thinking that she's in love with Cecil, an arrogant, thoroughly unlikable man?

According to the narrator, this is exactly the case. The strange thing about repression, we've been told, is that it encourages people to lie to themselves. Lucy doesn't know how unhappy she is until she meets George Emerson: she's been so conditioned to think in class terms and mirror the politeness of her peers and elders that rebelling against her society's rules is almost impossible. Lucy prepares for a life with Cecil, not entirely aware of what a huge mistake she's making. The narrator further suggests that the function of novels like this one is to enlighten readers--to alert them to their own blindness and repression by telling them stories.

I am no match for you in conversation, dearest. I blush when I think how I interfered at Florence, and you so well able to look after yourself, and so much cleverer in all ways than I am. You will never forgive me.

Related Characters: Charlotte Bartlett (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy confronts Charlotte about her interference in Lucy's life. Charlotte thinks she's looking out for Lucy and ensuring that she marries the best suitor available; thus, when Charlotte catches Lucy kissing George, she pressures Lucy to move on. Here, Lucy gets irritated with Charlotte for meddling in other people's business. She wants to make her own choices--and to Lucy's surprise, Charlotte apologizes for interfering.

Charlotte's apology to Lucy is interesting because she admits that Lucy is a more confident, independent person than Charlotte. Charlotte was supposed to be Lucy's chaperone--i.e., she was supposed to use her superior skills and experience to help Lucy make the right choices. Charlotte seems to realize that her "greater experience" doesn't mean anything--Charlotte has just been indoctrinated into English customs for longer than Lucy.

Chapter 16 Quotes

The scales fell from Lucy's eyes. How had she stood Cecil for a moment? He was absolutely intolerable, and the same evening she broke off her engagement.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy has just had a long conversation with George. George tells Lucy the plain truth: Cecil isn't a particularly good man, despite the fact that he and Lucy and engaged to be married. He lists all the examples of Cecil's condescending behavior towards women--if he were to marry Lucy, George argues, he'd treat Lucy like a child, never letting her make up her own mind about anything. While Lucy isn't convinced of George's argument at the time, she begins to see that George was right all along; Cecil really is a condescending, sexist fool.

To emphasize the suddenness of Lucy's epiphany, Forster makes a Biblical allusion: in the Bible, when Saul (later the Apostle Paul) embraced Christianity, his temporary blindness was instantly healed, and the "scales" fell from his eyes. In other words, Lucy feels as if she's been blind her entire life, and can only now see Cecil for what he is. The fact that it's George's speech that prompts her epiphany suggests that, deep down, Lucy may have always found Cecil a little irritating, but she put up with him because her family and her culture demanded that she do so (in other words, her culture demanded that she play the part of submissive fiancee).

Of course, the irony of this is that Lucy only escapes one man (Cecil) telling her what to do by listening to another man (George) tell her what to do. In this way, Forster perhaps subtly critiques himself, and acknowledges that although he has created an empowered female character in Lucy, he is still a man speaking through her voice.

Chapter 19 Quotes

But I cannot see why you didn't tell your friends about Cecil and be done with it. There all the time we had to sit fencing, and almost telling lies, and be seen through, too, I dare say, which is most unpleasant.

Related Characters: Mrs. Honeychurch (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Miss Honeychurch talks to her daughter about her broken engagement to Cecil. Honeychurch doesn't really understand why Lucy has broken off the engagement, but she wants she news of the broken engagement to get out anyway. Mrs. Honeychurch is, as one might expect, a master of public relations: she knows that the best way to avoid a scandal is to be open and honest about the engagement; otherwise people will assume that Mrs. Honeychurch and her family are hiding something.

Mrs. Honeychurch's stated reasons for breaking the news of the broken engagement are fascinating: she suggests the danger of "being seen" as frauds. Respectability is the basic currency of the English upper-classes, and to be deceptive or devious in anything is the easiest way to lose respectability.

"I want more independence," said Lucy lamely; she knew that she wanted something, and independence is a useful cry; we can always say that we have not got it. She tried to remember her emotions in Florence: those had been sincere and passionate, and had suggested beauty rather than short skirts and latch-keys. But independence was certainly her cue.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker)
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy proves how repressed and sheltered she is, even after she discovers her feelings for George Emerson. Lucy knows that she wants to break away from her strict English society, and yet she doesn't really understand how to go about doing so. Lucy remembers Italy as a place where she could be free of her social control: it was in Italy, after all, where she fell for George.

The tragedy of the passage is that Lucy has a hard time articulating her feelings of rebellion. She's been so conditioned to believe in the necessity of proper behavior that she can't think of any other way to conduct herself. All she can do is turn back to the word "independence," even though it doesn't really encapsulate what she truly wants.

Chapter 20 Quotes

Youth enwrapped them; the song of Phaethon announced passion requited, love attained. But they were conscious of a love more mysterious than this. The song died away; they heard the river, bearing down the snows of winter into the Mediterranean.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, George Emerson
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:

In this happy, lyrical ending, Lucy and George end up together, having journeyed through Italy once again and reunited. George and Lucy are thrilled to be with each other again: they confess their love for one another, and embrace tenderly. It would seem that they've finally escaped from repression and the control of English proper manners.

And yet, what will George and Lucy's "happy ever after" look like? Forster doesn't tell us what's going to happen, should Lucy and George get married. He leaves the possibilities open, characterizing George and Lucy's love as mysterious and foreign--and also intimately associated with freedom and nature. If Cecil was like an enclosed room, then George is a "room with a view"--one connected to the wildness, freedom, and unpredictability of nature, but still enclosed and sheltering (Lucy doesn't end up totally free, after all).

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Lucy Honeychurch Character Timeline in A Room with a View

The timeline below shows where the character Lucy Honeychurch appears in A Room with a View. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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A young English woman named Lucy is vacationing in Italy with her significantly older cousin Charlotte. They are staying together at... (full context)
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Lucy and Charlotte talk back and forth about which of them will take the first room... (full context)
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Charlotte tells Lucy that they will find another place to stay, but just then a young clergyman named... (full context)
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Charlotte and Lucy leave dinner and talk with Mr. Beebe in another room. Charlotte asks about the Emersons,... (full context)
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...Beebe if she should apologize, but he says she doesn’t need to, and then leaves. Lucy tells Charlotte that she thinks Mr. Beebe is nice and sees “good in everyone.” She... (full context)
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Slightly defending Mr. Emerson’s kind offer, Lucy agrees that he is not tactful but asks, “yet, have you ever noticed that there... (full context)
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Lucy and Charlotte move into the Emersons’ rooms, and Charlotte explains to Lucy that she has... (full context)
Chapter 2
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The next morning, Lucy wakes up, admires her view of the Arno river, and looks at various Italian men... (full context)
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Lucy excitedly looks for information about Santa Croce in her Baedeker travel guidebook, and the woman,... (full context)
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Lucy tells Miss Lavish that her father has always been a Radical, as well, and assures... (full context)
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...Miss Lavish sees a familiar face and runs off to talk to an old man. Lucy waits for ten minutes before deciding to try to find Miss Lavish. She can’t find... (full context)
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...boy up. Mr. Emerson tries to talk to her, but she does not speak English. Lucy explains to Mr. Emerson what has happened to her, and George suggests that she join... (full context)
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...that the church is not big enough for two parties, and leads his congregation outside. Lucy recognizes the reverend as an Englishman named Mr. Eager. George tells Lucy that his father... (full context)
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Lucy suggests that Mr. Emerson could have been more tactful, and George balks at the idea... (full context)
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Mr. Emerson tells Lucy that he knows what is wrong with George. He says it is “the old trouble:... (full context)
Chapter 3
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The narrator describes how Lucy likes playing the piano, as music offers her a momentary escape from “the kingdom of... (full context)
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Upon meeting Lucy, Mr. Beebe had found her less interesting than her music playing would suggest. He made... (full context)
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Miss Alan tells Lucy about how Miss Lavish lost the entirety of a novel she was working on, and... (full context)
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...as “an unsuitable invitation.” Miss Lavish then went and spent time alone with Mr. Emerson. Lucy asks Mr. Beebe whether Mr. Emerson is “nice or not nice,” and he tells her... (full context)
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Lucy says that she thinks the Emersons are nice people, and Miss Alan tells her that... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Lucy is bored with the conversation she just had with Miss Alan and Mr. Beebe. She... (full context)
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The narrator reflects that while Lucy is impatient with the restrictions put on her because of her gender, she doesn’t have... (full context)
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Just then, two Italian men near Lucy get into a fight. One of them is stabbed and, turning toward her, bleeds profusely.... (full context)
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Lucy suddenly thinks of her photographs, which she dropped when she fainted. George goes to pick... (full context)
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On the boat, George throws Lucy’s photographs into the river. Lucy is shocked, but George explains that they were covered in... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Upon returning to the Pension, Lucy is surprised when Charlotte is not troubled by Lucy’s adventure in the piazza. The next... (full context)
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...in touch with the real Florence, beyond what mere tourists see. The narrator says that Lucy would have been equally pleased only a few days earlier, but now had different priorities.... (full context)
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...this very piazza the day before, “the most sordid of tragedies,” occurred. Charlotte says that Lucy witnessed it, and claims responsibility for not chaperoning Lucy at the time. Mr. Eager asks... (full context)
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An Italian vendor tries to sell Mr. Eager some photographs, but he ignores him. Lucy, Charlotte, and Mr. Eager go shopping and buy “many hideous presents and mementoes.” By the... (full context)
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...finally says that Mr. Emerson murdered his wife (though he supplies no proof). He asks Lucy if the Emersons had said bad things about him when they were with her in... (full context)
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...and worries about who will sit with whom, since Mr. Eager dislikes Miss Lavish. Meanwhile, Lucy is lost among the “questions rioting in her brain,” after experiencing such strange things in... (full context)
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Charlotte and Lucy go to the bureau and receive letters. Lucy’s mother has written to tell her that... (full context)
Chapter 6
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In the afternoon, Lucy and Charlotte go for the ride with Mr. Eager. A young Italian man drives their... (full context)
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Lucy thinks about George Emerson, who she thinks is eager to “continue their intimacy.” She is... (full context)
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Mr. Eager asks if Lucy is in Florence as a student of art, and she tells him that she is... (full context)
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...Mr. Eager speaks to the two young Italians in Italian, and they both appeal to Lucy. Lucy is confused as to why they should seek her support. Finally, the young woman... (full context)
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...go off together, the Emersons return to the carriage to talk to their driver, and Lucy, Charlotte, and Miss Lavish form a third group. (full context)
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...laughs and says that Mr. Emerson looks like a porter. Miss Lavish and Charlotte encourage Lucy to go off and join Mr. Eager’s group, but Lucy doesn’t want to. They sit... (full context)
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The driver misunderstands Lucy and directs her over to where George is. Lucy walks through a wooded area and... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...the party rides back into Florence, and two close lightning strikes cause Miss Lavish and Lucy to scream. (full context)
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Emotional, Lucy apologizes to Charlotte and says that Charlotte warned her to be careful, but she simply... (full context)
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Charlotte consoles Lucy and tells her that everything is okay. The storm calms down as the carriage enters... (full context)
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Lucy talks with Charlotte in her room, and Charlotte asks her “what is to be done?”... (full context)
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Charlotte is reluctant to agree to Lucy’s plan, since Lucy is “so young and inexperienced,” that she doesn’t “realize what men can... (full context)
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As Charlotte and Lucy start to pack their things, Lucy feels inexplicably compelled to embrace Charlotte. Charlotte returns the... (full context)
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Lucy insists that Charlotte is not to blame for anything, and promises that she will not... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The story resumes in England, after Lucy has returned from her Italian trip to her home, called Windy Corner. There, Lucy’s brother... (full context)
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...over her letter, in which she tells Mrs. Vyse that she would be pleased for Lucy and Cecil to marry. But, she says to Freddy, “in these days young people must... (full context)
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Cecil informs Mrs. Honeychurch (first in Italian, then in English) that Lucy has accepted his marriage proposal, and both she and Freddy congratulate him. Lucy enters and... (full context)
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In Rome, Cecil hinted to Lucy that they should marry, and she declined. He proposed again “among the flower-clad Alps,” and... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe and Cecil talk about Lucy. Mr. Beebe says that he made a drawing in Florence, with Lucy represented by a... (full context)
Chapter 9
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A few days after the engagement, Mrs. Honeychurch takes Lucy and Cecil to a garden party, to show off the “presentable man” her daughter is... (full context)
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Cecil tells Lucy that he thinks of an engagement as a private matter, and hates how everyone was... (full context)
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Cecil criticizes Mr. Beebe to Lucy, who then says that she dislikes a different clergyman, Mr. Eager. She says that Mr.... (full context)
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Realizing that Cecil is playing with Sir Harry, Lucy suggests that he rent the place to some gentlewomen spinsters, and says that she knows... (full context)
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After they leave Sir Harry behind, Cecil tells Lucy that he dislikes him. He says that Sir Harry “stands for all that is bad... (full context)
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Lucy and Cecil walk through a wooded area, and Cecil says that he thinks Lucy only... (full context)
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Cecil tells Lucy that he wants to ask her something he has never asked her before, and finally... (full context)
Chapter 10
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The narrator describes “the society out of which Cecil proposed to rescue Lucy.” Lucy’s father had been “a prosperous local solicitor,” who built Windy Corner and then moved... (full context)
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For Lucy at Windy Corner, life “was a circle of rich, pleasant people, with identical interests and... (full context)
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One day, outside Windy Corner, Lucy is playing a made-up game with some tennis balls with Freddy and Mr. Beebe’s niece... (full context)
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Lucy tries to ascertain if this is the same Emerson family from Florence, and Mrs. Honeychurch... (full context)
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Lucy says that these Emersons are probably not the same ones as were in Florence, and... (full context)
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Lucy goes inside to see Cecil, and chides him for ruining her plan about the Miss... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...Emersons to move into Sir Harry’s villa are successful. The Alans are offended and write Lucy “a dignified letter.” Not long after, Sir Harry dies. Lucy gradually settles into the idea... (full context)
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Lucy receives a letter from Charlotte. Since the two parted after their trip to Italy, “a... (full context)
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Lucy is annoyed by Charlotte’s letter, and writes a reply in which she says that she... (full context)
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In London, Lucy attends a dinner party “consisting entirely of the grandchildren of famous people.” She is surprised... (full context)
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Mrs. Vyse tells Cecil, “Make Lucy one of us,” and enthusiastically says that Lucy is “purging off the Honeychurch taint,” and... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...for them, and examine the Emersons’ things, including many books. Mr. Beebe asks Freddy how Lucy enjoyed her stay in London, and Freddy says that Lucy is closer than ever to... (full context)
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Freddy tells Mr. Beebe that Cecil “is teaching Lucy Italian,” and that he is worried Lucy will become smarter than he is, as “she... (full context)
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On the way, Mr. Beebe comments on the coincidence of the Emersons meeting Lucy in Florence and then ending up so near to Windy Corner. George says that it... (full context)
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...Mr. Beebe alerts George and Freddy that people are coming by. Mrs. Honeychurch, Cecil, and Lucy happen to be walking through the woods. They see the three men, who then run... (full context)
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...clothes on, George, “barefoot, bare-chested, radiant and personable against the shadowy woods,” says hello to Lucy, and Mrs. Honeychurch tells her to bow in return. She bows awkwardly. That night, the... (full context)
Chapter 13
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At the home of a family friend, Mrs. Butterworth, Lucy thinks about her awkward bow earlier, and how she wasn’t prepared to encounter George outside... (full context)
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Lucy tries to defend Cecil’s haughtiness, but can’t find the right words. She feels that “two... (full context)
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Lucy and Mrs. Honeychurch talk about the letter Lucy received from Charlotte. Mrs. Honeychurch asks about... (full context)
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Lucy says that Charlotte mentioned Miss Lavish, a novelist, knowing that this will cause Mrs. Honeychurch... (full context)
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Lucy tries to think of an excuse not to invite Charlotte, saying there is no room... (full context)
Chapter 14
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To Lucy’s distress, Charlotte accepts the invitation to Windy Corner, and George Emerson accepts Freddy’s invitation for... (full context)
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After the encounter near the Sacred Lake, Lucy had run into George again along with Mr. Beebe at the rectory. She feels that... (full context)
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...and has to pay for a cab. She offers to pay for the cab, but Lucy and Freddy try to tell her not to, as she is a guest. She insists,... (full context)
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Lucy tells Charlotte that she has promised not to tell anyone about the kiss with George,... (full context)
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Fed up, Lucy says Charlotte was the one who told her to keep quiet about the kiss, and... (full context)
Chapter 15
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The next Sunday, a very sunny day, Lucy, Mrs. Honeychurch, Charlotte, and Minnie Beebe are all preparing to go to church. George, Freddy,... (full context)
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...up in favor of church, and insists that Minnie come. After church, Mrs. Honeychurch and Lucy stop by the Emersons’ home. Mr. Emerson meets Mrs. Honeychurch and tells her that he... (full context)
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After lunch, Lucy plays the piano. Cecil requests a particular song, but she stops playing instead. Then, George... (full context)
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After tennis, Cecil reads aloud to George and Lucy from the novel he is reading, which he finds comically bad. The novel is set... (full context)
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Lucy asks George what he thinks of the view from Windy Corner. George says that all... (full context)
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...up to her, embraces her, and kisses her. Realizing what this scene was modeled on, Lucy is shaken, and suggests that everyone go inside for tea. Cecil, George, and Lucy walk... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Lucy goes to her room, determined to stifle “love felt and returned, love which our bodies... (full context)
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Upset, Lucy now realizes why Charlotte encouraged her to tell Cecil about the kiss earlier and warned... (full context)
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Lucy and Charlotte go down to the dining room, where George is. Lucy tells George that... (full context)
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...treat women well. For example, when they encountered George near the Sacred Lake, George tells Lucy that Cecil was “teaching you and your mother to be shocked, when it was for... (full context)
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Lucy retorts that George is criticizing Cecil for telling her what to think, when he is... (full context)
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Freddy enters and tells Lucy there is time for another set of tennis. She says that George has had to... (full context)
Chapter 17
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When Lucy ends the engagement, Cecil is stunned. Lucy says they are simply too different, and Cecil... (full context)
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Cecil is shocked and confused. For the first time in their relationship, he sees Lucy as “a living woman, with mysteries and forces of her own,” rather than as a... (full context)
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Lucy answers that she doesn’t want to be protected and wants to “choose for myself what... (full context)
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Lucy thinks that Cecil is suggesting that she is leaving him for someone else, which upsets... (full context)
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...engagement couldn’t have worked, because he is “bound up in the old vicious notions,” while Lucy is “splendid and new.” Cecil and Lucy say goodnight politely. Lucy resolves never to marry... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...comes to Windy Corner “with a piece of gossip,” unaware of what has happened with Lucy and Cecil. Mr. Beebe’s gossip is that the Alans are planning a trip to Greece,... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe goes into the house and sees Lucy playing Mozart on the piano. He decides to let her be, and goes to find... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe talks with Charlotte, who is worried about gossip spreading regarding Lucy and Cecil. She says that Freddy shouldn’t even have told him about the matter, and... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe doesn’t “quite understand the situation,” but nonetheless feels compelled to help Lucy, and feels “spurred . . . into knight-errantry,” to help “place her out of danger.”... (full context)
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Mrs. Honeychurch goes to Lucy and tells her that she will allow her to go to Greece. Lucy is glad,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Mrs. Honeychurch and Lucy go to visit the Alans in London, in preparation for the Greece trip. The Alans... (full context)
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Mrs. Honeychurch is sad that Lucy is leaving Freddy and her for the Alans, and comments that Lucy must be tired... (full context)
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Lucy and her mother talk little on the way back home, and they head to pick... (full context)
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At the church, Charlotte wants to stay for a service, so Lucy waits in Mr. Beebe’s study while Charlotte and Mrs. Honeychurch go into the church. There,... (full context)
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...guilty that she became severely depressed, and eventually sick, so much so that she died. Lucy realizes that this was what Mr. Eager had meant by saying that Mr. Emerson had... (full context)
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Lucy feels bad and tells Mr. Emerson that he doesn’t have to leave his home, since... (full context)
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Lucy tries to explain to Mr. Emerson that she left Cecil for her own reasons, but... (full context)
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Lucy still thinks that she cannot marry George, and she stammers, “I have misled you—I have... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...going to Constantinople. The novel turns to Florence, and the Pension Bertolini, where George and Lucy are in the very room that Lucy stayed in so long ago. They are happy... (full context)
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The narrator notes that while George is absolutely happy, Lucy’s happiness is not complete, as her family has not forgiven her for eloping with George.... (full context)
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Lucy says that the room reminds her of Charlotte, and she shudders at the thought of... (full context)
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George, though, thinks that Charlotte planned the event intentionally, so that Lucy would run into Mr. Emerson. He wonders if Charlotte had actually always hoped that Lucy... (full context)